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The Man who Never Lived: Deception and Espionage

Discussion in 'Codes, Cyphers & Spies' started by kerrd5, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

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    "January, 1943. In a tiny, tobacco-stained basement room beneath the Admiralty building in Whitehall, two men sat puzzling over a conundrum of their own devising: how to create a person from nothing, a man who had never been.

    "The younger man was tall and thin, with thick spectacles and an elaborate Air Force moustache, which he twiddled in concentration. The other, elegant and languid, was dressed in naval uniform and sucked on a curved pipe that fizzed and crackled evilly. The stuffy underground cavern lacked windows, natural light and ventilation. It had once been a wine cellar. Now it was home to Section 17M, a unit of the British intelligence service so secret that barely 20 people outside the room knew of its existence."

    Invasion and the body snatchers - Times Online
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    That's interesting. I remember reading The Man Who Never Was back in the 50s about Operation Mincemeat when I was just a kid. It was one of the books that got me interested in WW2. I'm guessing this new book is more detailed with new information.
     
  3. Hilts

    Hilts Member

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    They now know his idenity, I think the poor guy had died of pnumonia, which would leave the lungs full of water, as per drowning.
     
  4. sniper1946

    sniper1946 Expert

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  5. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Recent program on UK history channel, put to rest some of the myths. Sub commander may have known what was going on but rest of crew wouldnt have had a clue as to the purpose of mission, which really puts to bed the crews story's about being member of crew etc or other wild thories on identity. The guy was id'd as a vagrant who had indeed died of pheumonia. There never was that big a secret on him. Just his relatives later did not want any publicity attached to him and wanted the person used to rip. As the Intelligence planners wanted too.
     
  6. panzer kampf gruppen 6

    panzer kampf gruppen 6 Dishonorably Discharged

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    50's???? Wow that's old lol but I think the Germans were trying the same thing wernt they?
     
  7. VictoryatNC

    VictoryatNC Member

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    I just watched a movie on TMC about this. I'm not sure how factual it was but it seemed quite accurate based on what I know about the story.
     
  8. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    The new book 'Operation Mincemeat' has had some very favourable reviews (including one by Max Hastings ) and I have a copy on order from Amazon.....:)
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    DonĀ“t forget to tell us what you thought about the book Mr 9,999! ;)
     
  10. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    Yes, quite often, and sometimes it worked. Early in the war the German deception ops were mostly run by Army and Navy units, like the Brandenbergers, or the Abwehr. Those were fairly professionally done and the Brits French, Poles, ect... were often tricked. As time passed Himmler & the other nazis took over a increasing number of these intelligence operations. A larger portion of the them were badly concieved and executed. Part of this was becasue the Germans had little coordination between groups running the ops. There was no single agency or HQ responsible for organizing a coherent deception or counter intelligence plan. In 1941 the British established a single department for making a stratigic deception plan and coordinating the execution of hundreds of deception operations so they fit the master scheme. The US intelligence services fell in step with this and the overall scheme worked well.

    Holt's book 'The Decievers' is a extensive summary of the major deception operations the British led against the Germans, Italians, and Japanese. 'Bodyguard of Lies' is another good book that examines the details of the Fortitude deception operation that protected the Overlord operation.
     

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